Algeria seeks a larger role in Libya’s peace process, but must jockey with other countries first. Algeria, Libya’s larger neighbour to the west, is seeking to re-establish its historic role as a leading and destabilising force in the region. Its new president, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, elected in December, has already made concerted efforts at bringing together the warring sides, and halt the increased presence of foreign proxies on its own border.
Algeria, with its long history of being a French colony and its bloody struggle for independence, maintains a “dogged fixation on the primacy of sovereignty and the dangers of foreign intervention”, according to Simon Speakman Cordall in Al-Monitor. He writes that Algeria has always shown a strong commitment to preventing foreign interference in the region, especially since such efforts tend to go badly, and have negative repercussions for its own domestic security.
This will be a tough order, as Turkey, the UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, Russia and France are all currently involved militarily in the conflict. Despite this, Cordall says Algeria has made some progress, such as in Berlin when it managed to get the foreign ministers of Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan, Chad, Mali and Niger together, and has recently suggested to the African Union it could host a national reconciliation forum.
As we reported just a few days ago on this site, Algeria has also suggested to the African Union to send troops to monitor and enforce a ceasefire. Algeria will however, have to navigate its regional rivalries, such as with Morocco, and Egypt, which backs the LNA.
Cordall points out that Algeria has a long and proud tradition of producing successful diplomats. That, combined with its neutrality in Libya (along with Morocco and Tunisia) can place in into a good position to increase its role and help bring some much needed stability to the region.